July 25, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Q&A With Dr. Richard Kleinmann

Introducing Dr. Richard Kleinmann, a child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist with over 20 years of clinical experience. The Jewish Link recently had the opportunity to speak to Dr. Kleinmann.

Has the nature of your psychiatric practice changed over the past few years?

It has certainly changed! I’m encountering an increased rate of anxiety in both children and adults as well as patients complaining that they are unable to fall asleep without medications or cannabis. In this regard, the legalization of cannabis has resulted in increased use by minors and sometimes even daily use.

Other factors that have adversely affected my patients include the impact COVID had on the development of age appropriate social skills in both children and adolescents. Texting has replaced in-person social interaction and even conversations over the telephone. I do not regard these trends as fostering improved mental and physical health.

How do I decide whether psychiatric care is better than seeing a therapist weekly?

I encourage my patients not to replace weekly therapy with psychoactive medications. Often, working with a therapist on a weekly basis plus exercise, a healthy diet, healthy sleep habits and replacing self criticism with self affirmation is sufficient in addressing anxiety and depression. But sometimes the judicious addition of medication prescribed by a psychiatrist can improve both mood and functioning.

However, some psychiatric disorders such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, ADHD and obsessive compulsive disorder may require the prompt initiation of medication. I remind my patients that all medications prescribed by psychiatrists carry the risks of side effects and that FDA approval does not imply that use of a medication is risk free.

Life is so hectic, can our appointments be virtual?

I require all initial evaluations to be in person. After that, depending on diagnosis and severity of symptoms, I will agree to some virtual followup appointments when I feel that they are clinically appropriate. I do provide both Sunday and evening appointments to facilitate in person visits.

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